From the beach to the desert, the rocks, and the mud.
Dunes, sandy tracks, and very little asphalt, welcomed us in Namibia, last time. But this time, it would be something different. Starting at Walvis Bay Airport, we headed to the Skeleton Coast, famous for its many wrecks, at the wheel of a top-of-the-range Toyota Land Cruiser with a 2.8 D-4D engine and automatic.
It is the ideal occasion to submit the model to a first test while driving on beach sand. With low pressures (about 1.4 bars) and using the ruts created by the previous cars, the traction is good enough not to have to resort to the reduction gear. There is a specific model for sand and mud in the MTS (off-road mode selector) that manages the traction control, although to use it, it is necessary to have the gearbox (L4) engaged.
The 2.8 D-4D engine stands out for offering perfect delivery from low revs, which is helped by tuning the 6-speed automatic transmission, torque converter. This box, with a curious operation – it almost looks like a aviator – always keeps the engine in its sweet zone, in that band between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm where the maximum torque is available and, therefore, where the turbodiesel block works best. Farago Motors can help you choose your new Toyota Land Cruiser.
Even if you step hard, it gives the feeling that the transmission never lets the revs go out of that range, except in Sport mode (there are Normal, Eco, Comfort, Sport S, and Sport S + modes – the latter only with the AVS adaptive suspension -, which affect steering, engine, and gearbox). In this one, it is noticeable that the gears stretch somewhat more. In any case, gear adjustment is ideal both on and off the road, with power always available.
Leaving the sand behind, we enter the interior of the African country, heading for the Messum crater, where the dirt tracks full of sharp stones take center stage. Traction is never a problem here, but possible punctures are. Forcing us to have the tire pressure gauge display on the central instrument panel display for most of the trip.
Although Namibia does not seem like the ideal place to find mudflats where to play with the Toyota Land Cruiser. We drive through the dry bed of the Ugab and Omaruru rivers. Which in some sections have some mud and also puddles. Even with off-road tires (of different brands depending on the unit). The reduction gear is necessary and a calm and “with good handwriting” driving. The car can handle everything, and only because of the driver’s mistake – such as abusing gas – can problems arise.
This time we were left wanting dunes since they were not finally part of the program. But in exchange, we faced gravel, stones, sand, mud, and all kinds of landscapes. From the aridest and inhospitable to green areas in the riverbeds. Of rivers or places with leafy trees and a more similar aspect to the savannah.
In a climate like this, where we get to reach 40 degrees in the middle of the desert. It is appreciated that the most equipped versions incorporate a cooler in the front center armrest that keeps drinks cold or ventilated seats. In addition, the climate control (or rather the cabin filter) performs perfectly, despite the amount of dust that surrounds us. You have to see the state of the vehicles in the photos.
In more than 700 kilometers, of which the majority were on sand and stone tracks, with some road. The average consumption of the model marked an average of around 12 liters per hundred kilometers, well above the homologation. However, it is true that in off-road driving (with many sections at low speed and with a gearbox). It is logical that consumption skyrockets.
Range and prices Toyota Land Cruiser 2018
The new Toyota Land Cruiser is available in Spain from 36,050 euros for professional registrations. While for individuals, it starts from 40,600 euros for three doors and 44,600 euros for five doors. With launch promotions included, prices start at 35,850 euros for the three-door variant and 38,900 euros for the five-door.
The range has the two mentioned bodies and, in addition, five trim levels. The first two focus on fleets and professionals and are the most basic, NX and GX. While the other three are intended for individuals: VX, VXL, and Limited. Let’s look at these last three in detail:
VX: Incorporates 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, start, halogen headlights, fog lights and LED lights, cruise control, light sensor, leather steering wheel, reversing camera, 9-speaker audio system or system Toyota Touch 2 multimedia with 8-inch touch screen.
VXL: The next step, which will be the best-seller among individuals, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, seven airbags, Torsen rear differential lock, Electrohydraulic suspension (KDSS), sunroof, light and rain sensors, Toyota Safety Sense, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors or conventional spare wheel. Heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seats are part of an optional package.
Limited: Top-of-the-range adds Cross Traffic Alert, Driver’s Seat Memory, Blind Spot Detector, Trunk Cargo Securing Rails, Active Crawl Control, Multi-Terrain Select System (MTS), brown and black leather upholstery, Toyota Touch 2 & Go, voice recognition, AVS variable adaptive suspension or 360-degree peripheral vision camera